Improving Language, Improving Lives: Supporting ESOL in the Secure Estate

A report, published recently, showcases a new ESOL screening tool and set of teaching materials designed to enhance both screening and teaching delivery in prisons in England.

Learning and Work Institute (L&W) in partnership with De Montfort University, Leicester and The Bell Foundation, developed the tool and resources as part of the Improving Language, Improving Lives project, which helps to support prisoners to integrate more quickly into their new environment, and are now free to access.

When prisoners with an ESOL need arrive in prison, understanding what educational support is available and accessing suitable provision can be a significant challenge. Without the right training or tools, prison staff can lack confidence in identifying a prisoner’s language-need and signposting them to an ESOL class. ESOL tutors themselves often have little support, training opportunities or access to teaching resources.

In recognition of these challenges the Improving Language, Improving Lives project was established in a bid to fill these gaps within the prison education system in England.

The screening tool can help prisons build a consistent and robust approach to identifying prisoners with an ESOL need through raising awareness of prisoners’ ESOL needs and developing the skills of support staff and volunteers. The tool can be easily embedded within existing systems and used to facilitate referral into ESOL provision from a range of sources.

One prison has already seen the benefits for both prisoners and staff:

“Through the screening tool, we’ve been able to buddy up individuals identified as having an ESOL need, mentor them, and make sure that they receive help much sooner than they would have ordinarily… this ‘diagnostic’ will save a lot of time and wasted effort, as so many potential ESOL learners slip through the net in the early stages of arriving in prison.” Deputy Education Manager

The teaching and learning resources help support teaching staff to create meaningful and relevant content for their learners. Inspired and shaped by L&W’s Citizens’ Curriculum initiative, the resources gained national recognition at the ELTons awards for Local Innovation in English Language Teaching in June 2019.

“I have found the learning resources in the Citizens’ Curriculum to be very helpful.  The learners enjoy the lessons and have responded well to the activities.  It has been a very useful project and one that will help the learners flourish and cope better with the difficult environment in which they find themselves.” ESOL Tutor

Diana Sutton, Director, The Bell Foundation, commissioners of the assessment tool, said: 

“There is very little information about the nature and scale of ESOL needs in prison as this is not routinely assessed and the data is not captured nationally. This project set out to develop a tool to enable the better identification of ESOL needs, and ESOL teaching and learning resources to support tutors who work in prisons and rehabilitation centres. This is helping both those working in prisons, and prisoners and ex-offenders themselves who have English as a second or additional language. Staff are able to support learners to progress into further education, work and resettlement in the community as well as in prison, which is a benefit to everyone."

Alex Stevenson, Head of English, maths and ESOL at Learning and Work Institute said:

“The acute need for ESOL teaching and learning resources in the secure estates was identified during the first stages of the project. We used the Citizens’ Curriculum – a locally-led, innovative and holistic model of learning which taps into what really engages and motivates learners to learn, by putting their active participation in shaping the content at the centre – to inspire the development of the resources. Through this project and wider work, it is clear that the approach has a real impact on learners’ motivation, social and civic engagement and self-efficacy. It is fantastic to see how well-received and valued the resources have been by practitioners and stakeholders in the sector – demonstrating that the need for high quality, engaging resources for ESOL learners in prisons has been met”

Ross Little from De Montfort University’s Criminology and Criminal Justice programme said:

“The language screening tool helps in two key ways: it helps staff working in prison identify language needs more easily and more quickly and also helps provide an evidence base for the future about the learning provision needed in prisons.”

Improving Language, Improving Lives: Supporting ESOL in the secure estate project is commissioned by The Bell Foundation, and jointly delivered by Learning and Work Institute and De Montford University’s criminology and criminal justice programme.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Levelling Up Learning through Technology – A Ufi...

Levelling Up Learning through Technology – A Ufi VocTech Trust’s Whitepaper - EdTech Update April 28, 2021How can digital solutions improve outcomes...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter yesterday

RT @FENews: Flexi-jobs, ATAS and Apprenticeships: OverviewFollowing recent consultations by the Department for Education, a new flexi-jobs.…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page